Friday, March 30, 2012

Quad/Graphics in strategic partnership with India's Manipal Technologies

SUSSEX, USA: Quad/Graphics Inc. has entered into a strategic partnership with Manipal Technologies Ltd (ManipalTech), India’s largest print services and end-to-end business solutions provider. Under the agreement, Quad/Graphics has purchased a minority interest in Manipal Technologies, expanding Quad/Graphics’ geographic reach to Asia, and broadening its product and service scope.

“This investment expands our global presence, giving us a strong foothold in another emerging market with a large and growing middle class that is attractive to marketers and publishers,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics. “Additionally, this partnership supports a key component of our growth strategy, which is to invest in geographies and segments where we can be a market leader through a diverse product offering, and a superior and efficient operating platform. We are proud to partner with a reputable, forward-thinking company like ManipalTech, which shares our commitment to advancing the effectiveness of print in a multichannel media world.”

ManipalTech is a leading printer of security products, such as debit and credit cards, bank checks and drafts, high-security revenue-assurance labels, pre-paid phone cards, gift vouchers and personalized holograms, as well as marketing, branding and communications products, including magazines, catalogs, books, brochures, annual reports, consumer goods packaging, point-of-purchase displays, envelopes and stationery, manuals and labels.

The company performs work for customers in a variety of industries, including Publishing, Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Telecommunications, Education, Consumer Goods and Retail, Aviation and Transportation, and the Government. The company is committed to advancing its product and service offering through research and development. Currently, it is developing products with embedded technology; biometrics such as fingerprints and iris recognition; printed electronics; and interactive print features such as near field communication (NFC).

“Quad/Graphics’ investment will fuel our growth initiatives, which are focused on bringing greater capabilities and value to customers across many industries,” said T. Gautham Pai, MD of ManipalTech. “We continue to focus on developing solutions that proactively address our customers’ pain points, needs and value requirements, especially as consumer preferences change and businesses look to adapt.”

ManipalTech employs more than 2,000 people in multiple production facilities in Manipal, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi; R&D and software development centers in Gurgaon and Manipal; and various sales and office locations in India. Annual sales is approximately $90 million.

LifeSize expands video collaboration to Regus office spaces in 40 countries

BANGALORE, INDIA: LifeSize, a division of Logitech, is joining forces with Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces, to bring LifeSize HD video conferencing to businesses and the public at more than 240 Regus locations worldwide. Regus customers can now easily communicate with colleagues around the world via video or conduct business over HD video while traveling.

LifeSize is leveraging Regus’ network of locations in central business districts and transport hubs to create a public network of easy-to-access, stylish, video-enabled business suites across more than 40 countries. This worldwide network of LifeSize Public Rooms (LPRs) is publicly accessible, giving businesses everywhere convenient access to LifeSize’s HD video conferencing, which is interoperable with existing video systems. That makes it easy for users to call anyone, anywhere on any video platform for the broadest possible collaboration.

LPRs are equipped with LifeSize 220 Series HD video conferencing systems, which feature crystal-clear 1080p HD video and HD data sharing for a video collaboration experience that truly mirrors in-person engagement. Regus customers can use these LifeSize rooms for a wide variety of video collaboration scenarios including:

* Seamless video calling with customers and partners, regardless of their video platform.
* Remote candidate interviews, connecting candidates to interview teams through local Regus offices.
* Data sharing and collaboration with colleagues while traveling.

Review on China’s Internet of Things industry in 2011

BEIJING, CHINA: As one of China’s key emerging industries of strategic importance, the Internet of things industry consists of the support layer, the perception layer, the transfer layer, the platform layer and the application layer, mainly applied in fields like intelligent industry, intelligent logistics, and intelligent transportation.

In 2011, the output value of China's IoT industry exceeded RMB260 billion, wherein the support layer, the perception layer, the transfer layer, the platform layer and the application layer respectively contributed 2.7 percent, 22 percent, 33.1 percent, 37.5 percent and 4.7 percent. The perception layer and transport layer, involving the largest number of vendors, boasted the most intensive competition in the IoT industry.

In 2011, the major application fields of IoT were intelligent industry, intelligent logistics, intelligent transportation, smart grid, intelligent medical treatment, intelligent agriculture and intelligent environmental protection.

Currently, China's IoT industry has formed four clusters in the Bohai Rim Area, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Midwest Region.

Recently, the following new trends have emerged in China's IoT industry:

First, resources will continue to gather in well-developed areas: the strong will get stronger. The existing clusters in the Yangtze River Delta, Bohai Rim Area and the Pearl River Delta will continue to boast intensively-located enterprises, multiple research and development institutions and a sound industrial atmosphere.

Second, hotspot areas are emerging constantly: the landscape of China’s IoT industry will see an expansion. With a wide coverage and its close combination with applications, China’s IoT industry will enjoy further development in a broader area. Besides key provinces and cities mentioned above, cities like Tianjin, Kunming and Ningbo will also focus on the development of the IoT industry.

Third, regional division of labor will become clearer: vertical and horizontal cooperation will take shape in China’s IoT industry. On the whole, regions with solid industrial foundations will focus on their advantaged areas including the support layer, the perception layer, the transfer layer and platform layer, while tier-2 and tier-3 cities are more likely to focus on the development of the application layer in different areas.

LCD monitor shipments rebounded from rock bottom in Feb. 2012

TAIWAN: According to the Worldwide LCD Monitor Shipments Report from WitsView, the panel research division of TrendForce, both global top 10 LCD monitor brands and SIs’ shipments rebounded from rock bottom in Feb-12.

Shipments of brand vendors amounted to 11.07 million units with MoM growth of 11.1 percent, contributed by recovered pull-in momentum in China after the Lunar New Year and lower base period in Jan-12; while SI shipments reached 11.35 million units with an increased MoM of 9.9 percent, aided by the employees’ returning to work in Feb-12 that caused the capacity to resume. However, due to fewer working days in Feb. and extra time needed for labor and material to resume after the long holidays, SI shipments presented a slower uptrend.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Anita Wang, WitsView’s analyst, indicated that the shipments in 2Q12 is projected to grow by 4~6 percent, benefitting from three factors: lower base period in 1Q12, some brand vendors targeting business markets are launching new-models in 2Q12, and business market orders are mostly projected to gradually begin shipping in 2Q12.

Notwithstanding 2Q12’s projected uptrend in shipments, the overall shipments in 1H12 are expected to be weaker than last year since downstream vendors’ purchase momentum was pushed forth by panel price rebounding from rock bottom in 1Q11, prior to the European debt crisis, the downstream vendors held positive attitude toward the full-year shipments; as a result, the inventory stocking was higher in 1Q11.

However, affected by a full-year lackluster end-market demand, downstream vendors’ attitude toward stock preparations turned conservative, causing the expected shipments in 1H12 to slightly decline by 3~5 percent YoY. Differed from the 50/50 to 1H/2H in previous years, the shipments in 2012 are forecasted to increase over quarters.

According to WitsView, an increased YoY in 2012’s LCD monitor shipments depends on the 2H12 shipments. The shipment performance will be affected by the following factors:
* a recovered macroeconomic environment,
* if the introductions of Ultrabook and Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system, are able to push the next NB upgrade cycle and further spur sales of computer peripherals, and
* the rebounded point for panel price.

NEC sets TPC benchmark E (TPC-E) performance record

IRVING, USA: NEC Corp. of America (NEC), a leading provider and integrator of advanced communications, networking and IT solutions, announced that the NEC Express5800/A1080a-E enterprise server with Intel Xeon processor E7 architecture achieved the fastest performance on the TPC BenchmarkTM E (TPC-E)1.

This world record performance of 4,614.22tpsE (transactions-per-second in TPC-E) at $450.18USD/tpsE was achieved by the NEC Express5800/A1080a-E. The results demonstrate the capabilities of Microsoft Corp’s new SQL Server 2012, available April 2, to support very high-end OLTP workloads in demanding enterprise environments and NEC’s commitment to deliver industry-leading SQL Server performance.

Building upon a decade long development experience, the fifth generation Express5800/A1080a-E server with support for the Intel Xeon processor E7 architecture provides optimal investment protection, reliability and scalability in high-load SQL Server and virtual machine environments where downtime can be most costly.

“Microsoft is pleased that NEC has once again shown the tremendous performance characteristics of its enterprise servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012,” said Claude Lorenson, director, SQL Server Product Management, at Microsoft. “The benchmark results demonstrate that the combination of NEC’s proven technology and SQL Server 2012 provide a platform that is ready for today’s most demanding workloads.”

“Drawing from NEC's rich heritage in mainframe and supercomputer computing, the NEC Express5800/A1080a enterprise server’s reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features are built around Intel’s E7 Series processors to meet the increasing demands of business-critical applications,” said Mike Mitsch, VP of IT products, NEC Enterprise Technologies. “This release continues to demonstrate NEC’s commitment to providing mission critical database system solutions with the NEC Express5800 enterprise server products.”

In addition to holding the top position, NEC's Express5800/1000 series servers hold two additional top-ten TPC-E performance benchmarks2 demonstrating NEC’s continuous work to improve performance in its high end server line. TPC-E is an industry-standard benchmark that is designed to be broadly representative of modern OLTP systems. The benchmark simulates a brokerage firm with customers, accounts and holdings, where customers trade stocks and monitor their accounts and the market.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Johnson Controls helps Miller Park earn LEED certification

MILWAUKEE, USA: Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2001, has been recognized as the first stadium with a retractable roof and the third Major League Baseball stadium overall to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified in the category of Existing Building Operations and Maintenance. Johnson Controls, a global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, is the facility manager for the stadium and coordinated the LEED process.

Johnson Controls was able to meet the special energy and ventilation requirements presented by the retractable roof. Only two other Major League Baseball stadiums have achieved LEED recognition for Existing Buildings – AT&T Park in San Francisco and Target Field in Minneapolis – and both are open-air facilities.

"Johnson Controls works on sustainability projects around the world and is proud to have facilitated this challenging certification process for its home town team," said Iain Campbell, VP and GM, Energy Solutions, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. "The Brewers organization deserves recognition for its commitment to make Miller Park among the most sustainable stadiums in professional sports."

The LEED rating system, developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), is a voluntary certification process that provides independent, third-party verification to confirm that a building is operating at the highest levels of efficiency and sustainability. The goal for LEED certification projects is to optimize and modernize facilities by introducing improvements that lower energy, operating and capital costs while improving indoor environments and reducing the impact on outdoor environments.

New improvements and initiatives contributing to the certification include:
* A new high definition scoreboard using 49 percent less energy.
* Upgrades to Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, equipment and controls, plumbing, electrical lighting and power systems, expected to reduce 1,153 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is the equivalent to taking 220 cars off the road each year.
* Replacement of old water fixtures to help save an anticipated 5.2 million gallons of water annually.
* Addition of more than 140 new recycling containers, averaging 10 tons of waste recycling each game.
* More than 50 percent of cleaning products meet sustainability criteria as "green cleaning" products.
* Smoking areas moved 25 feet from doors, windows and ventilation systems to preserve the indoor air quality for occupants.
* Donation of more than 7,000 pounds of food to area food banks and shelters in the last half of the 2011 season, providing 5,300 meals.

"LEED certification is a significant achievement for any building, but to gain certification for a building as complex as Miller Park is impressive," said Kim Hosken, director of Green Building Services, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls, who worked extensively on the project. "We had to consider intricacies such as the nature of the facility, the sheer volume of people, materials and vendors, the operable roof, and overall complexity of the building operations."

Johnson Controls managed the entire LEED project at Miller Park, which included helping the Milwaukee Brewers identify ways to become more sustainable and to draft policies to help stadium service providers and vendors adhere to sustainability goals. Johnson Controls also provided sustainability training and conducted a waste audit by physically sorting through trash from Miller Park at Waste Management's Orchard Ridge Landfill in Menomonee Falls.

Johnson Controls has helped its customers to secure green building certification for more than 15 million square feet of building space worldwide. Johnson Controls also "walks the talk" at its own global headquarters in Glendale, Wis., which represents the largest concentration of LEED Platinum buildings (four) in the world.

RF power grid vacuum electron device and inductive output tube markets still in the game

SCOTTSDALE, USA: The most legacy of markets in electronics today is still relevant and finding niches that solid-state RF devices are having trouble penetrating. The total available market (TAM) for these high-power RF devices is worth several hundred million dollars a year.

Despite its size, and although these tubes remain essential elements in specialized military, industrial, broadcast, scientific/energy, and medical applications, this market is generally under-reported and poorly understood by those not directly involved in it.

“Essentially, this is now a stable industry, after several rounds of consolidation in recent years,” says Lance Wilson, research director, RF components and systems. “While there is potential for some further consolidation, there are no signs of that happening yet. RF power grid vacuum electron devices and inductive output tubes are fulfilling a century old legacy and although not the overwhelming market they once were, many end-use applications would be difficult if not impossible without them. The size of this market continues to surprise everyone and its longevity and firm resistance to RF power semiconductor encroachment is just as surprising.

“These specialized vacuum electron devices may at first seem anachronistic. But, in some cases there is no other way to generate such high levels of RF power within an acceptably small space. Certain RF power grid VEDs can generate megawatts of power and it would take tens of thousands of transistors to do that.”

Better resources and technologies lift business confidence in backup and disaster recovery

BANGALORE, INDIA: Despite 2011 being one of the most tumultuous years on record, businesses around the world have grown in confidence about their ability to back up and then recover data and IT systems following a disaster.

According to the 2012 Acronis Global Disaster Recovery (DR) Index, businesses are on average 14 percent more confident in their backup and DR capabilities than they were compared to the previous year’s result in the Index. Key to this rise is the perceived improvements in having the right resources (tools/environment) and the right technologies for the job. Confidence in these two criteria alone has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Underlying this increase in confidence is the fact that 66 percent of businesses are checking their backup and disaster recovery plans more regularly, possibly as a consequence of the catastrophic natural disasters which hit most regions during 2011, including destructive flooding in Australia, Brazil and Thailand, deadly earthquakes in New Zealand and Turkey, storms costing billions in damages across the United States and the devastating tsunami in Japan from which some businesses are still yet to fully recover.

Despite an overall improvement in confidence, other more concerning findings from the survey of almost 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) in 18 countries include:
* Flat budgets: businesses are spending the same on backup and DR year on year (10 percent of IT spend).
* Almost half (47 percent) now feel that business executives are not supportive of their backup and disaster recovery operations.
* Data growth continues unabated: a typical SMB creates almost 40TB of fresh data each year.
* To err is human: 60 percent of those surveyed blame human error as the most common cause of system downtime.
* The cost of failure: average system downtime lasts 2.2 days costing each business $366,363 each year in lost productivity.

Managing hybrid physical, virtual and cloud environments presents biggest challenge
The vast majority (70 percent) of the IT managers surveyed agree that, for the second year running, their greatest challenge in a hybrid environment is moving data between physical, virtual and cloud environments. Yet, the survey found that most businesses are still failing to consolidate their backup and disaster recovery tools to address this challenge.

Most rely on multiple tools, with a third using three or more different solutions to protect their data. Over half (53 percent) use separate solutions for their physical and virtual environments.

Acronis Global Disaster Recovery Index ranking
To create the Index, each country surveyed was ranked based on its average responses from 11 questions about their confidence in backup and DR readiness, capabilities and practices. Questions covered technology, resources, procedures and executive buy-in.

Commenting on the findings, Bill Taylor-Mountford, president for Asia Pacific, Acronis said: “The survey findings suggest that the natural disasters of 2011 have been a catalyst for positive change when it comes to most businesses testing their backup and DR operations. However, for all the positives in the survey, too many strategic-level negatives, such as failure to get executive buy-in and the use of multiple, disjointed solutions, linger when it comes to keeping the business-critical digital assets of a business secure, protected and immediately available, particularly in a hybrid world.”

National Electronics Week North Africa 2012 promoting the best of international eectronics in an emerging market

TUNISIA, AFRICA: Following on from the 2011 launch of National Electronics Week North Africa, the event will again join for its second edition "Tunis-Medindustrie" organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunis. This event shows the best of Industrial Partnership and Innovation and National Electronics Week will support this with an International gathering of electronics companies from design to manufacture.

The National Electronics Week event has a specific area within “Kram” (the venue for MedIndustrie and NEW NA) which is branded and located at a prime front of house location, offering the most cost effective stand packages and opportunities for companies to target this exciting and growing market. Stand pricing for international exhibitors is only 120 Euro per metre including shells scheme, and for UK companies there is UKTI funding available which offers full stand packages for less than £100 total.

This event expects to deliver around 10 000 visitors, 350 exhibitors at the Parc des expositions du Kram in Tunis, the main exhibition venue for the city.

Rob Saunders, director of New Events, said: "North Africa is an exciting region and one that is prospering from growth. Our collaboration with Medindustrie offers a strong platform for key companies and professionals to find out more about international developments and products. As well as local visitors we expect to see internationals keen to get involved with this sector.

"We are pleased to be supporting Medindustrie for a second year, but additionally our partners Fortronic are hosting an exclusive meet the buyer event in a venue nearby where we will offer our customers the opportunity to get involved and for which we will be organising a free shuttle service between locations. Additionally, the Tunisian Investment Forum, which is a meeting and networking event for industry professionals across various sectors to discuss the opportunities and growth technologies within Tunisia, will also run alongside this and is supported by another of our partners FIPA."

The Tunisian Investment Forum is a key international economic meeting organized by FIPA Tunisia and expects to get an additional 1,500 attendees (from Tunisia and others countries), with a strong presence of political and economic decision makers.

May 1st Labor Day in China and Olympics pushes China LCD TV brand’s panel demand to increase

TAIWAN: According to WitsView, a research division of TrendForce, and Chinese research institute Σintell, the total shipments of LCD TV set in Feb-12 reached 2.577 million units with a 40 percent MoM regression and a surging YoY of 102 percent, mainly due to the relatively lower base period compared to last year. The figures above are based on China Top 6 TV Brand Shipment and Panel Demand reports.

Due to the upcoming May 1st Labor Day holidays in China, LCD TV finished good shipments in Mar-12 are projected to increased by 17 percent MoM, inspiring an estimated QoQ growth around 7~9 percent in 2Q12. The panel procurement volume in Feb-12 amounted to 2.805 million units with a MoM regression of 11 percent. In March, an increased MoM growth of 7 percent is expected.

Burrell Liu, WitsView research director indicates that the lackluster panel market is expected to rebound, helped by global brands’ well-controlled inventory in 2H11 and the upcoming China May 1st Labor Day holidays; meanwhile, Samsung, LG and Toshiba have started making preparations for product launches in European market in response to the forthcoming London Olympics in July-12. As a result, the global LCD TV shipments in 2Q12 are projected to grow by 8 percent QoQ.

China top 6 TV brands’ overseas shipments accounted for 22.3 percent of their total shipments in 2011. This year, with their key strategies continues to focus on expanding international sales and targeting overseas channels, aiming at 39 percent YoY growth in overall international sales, accounting for 25 percent of the total shipments; which is a projected threat to other international brands.

CMI’s panel shipments to China till Feb-12 took 32 percent of the market share as the first ranking, followed by AUO with the market share of 22 percent. Ranked by the top 6 TV brands’ targets of annual total panel procurement volume, CMI is forecasted to secure its dominance by taking 24 percent of the total procurement volume, followed by LGD (21 percent), AUO (19 percent), and Samsung Display (18.7 percent). The remaining panels makers, such as BOE and CSOT, are projected to jointly take up 17.3 percent of the total volume.

According to WitsView, the 39” and 50” panels released by CMI accounted for 6.5 percent of top 6 TV brands’ total procurement volume in Feb-12. CMI’s new-sized model shipments in 2012 are estimated to take 27 percent of its full-year shipments, resulting from its tight capacity due to more-than-expected client demand. WitsView research projects the new-sized LCD TV panel shipments to reach 23 million units, accounting for 10~11 percent of the total panel shipments in this year.Source: WitsView, Taiwan

Cisco tunes into $5 billion of heavy execution risk with NDS buy

Adrian Drury, Ovum Principal Analyst

AUSTRALIA: This presents a difficult situation for new purchasers Cisco. While the standard response would be to suck NDS into the wider Cisco organization and bury the brand post acquisition. This is exactly what Cisco must not do if it is to avoid destroying $5bn of shareholder value with this deal.

The NDS acquisition brings to the table a globally leading pay-TV middleware and conditional access business. This provides scale to Cisco’s Videoscape unit and an accelerated route to move away from the troubled Scientific Atlanta hardware business, and into a, theoretically, higher-margin video platform software and services business.

However, the pay-TV market is changing. As the threat from over-the-top video providers intensifies and there is more demand for on-demand multi-screen access from smartphone, tablet and PC, we are hearing that key pay-TV technology decision makers are finding the embedded nature of NDS in their organizations restrictive and would consider looking for alternative suppliers.

Herein lies the dual risk for Cisco. Firstly, this transaction will open a door for rivals to look to displace NDS. We’ve identified Naspers’ owned Irdeto as a middleware, video content management and conditional access player that will aggressively target the NDS client list. Secondly, will NDS’ client base, and specifically, News Corp., invite Cisco to have the same level of strategic technology partnership that NDS has enjoyed?

To minimise these execution risks. It has been signalled to us that NDS will be operated as a ring-fenced business, albeit within the Video Technology group. Hence why Cisco cannot just bury the NDS brand and organizational structure to limit the reputational risk from the hacking allegations.

Digital gaming market in Asia-Pacific to more than double to $30.3 billion

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The Asia-Pacific digital games market will more than double over the next four years to be worth $30.3 billion in 2016, according to Ovum. In a new report, the independent telecoms analyst predicts that revenues will grow at a CAGR of 18 percent from $11.2 billion in 2010.

This growth rate is a healthy 2 percent ahead of the global average, and retail sales in the region comprised over half of global retails sales in 2011. This figure is expected to grow to nearly 60 percent by 2016.

Neha Dharia, Ovum’s consumer telecoms analyst said that Asia-Pacific is already vital in terms of digital gaming retail sales, and will grow in importance in future. She commented: “The region will drive the digital games market globally. The most significant retail sales contribution will come from the massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) sector, while the highest amount of growth in the Asia-Pacific market will come from mobile gaming.”

With more and more casual players entering the market, gamer numbers will grow faster than retail sales, resulting in the erosion of average revenue per user (ARPU). Casual and social games will be vital to growing the number of gamers and bringing digital games into the mainstream.

There is a considerable split between Asia-Pacific’s developed and emerging regions. This results in a higher level of ARPU in South-Korea and Japan than in China, for example, which has lower ARPU due to a large gamer base and the relatively low cost of games.

Ovum’s forecast for the Asia-Pacific market predicts that online unique gamers will number over 1 billion in 2016, while there will be slightly fewer than 900 million mobile gamers in 2016.

Dharia concluded: “The growth of digital gaming in Asia-Pacific will give service providers an opportunity to grow their revenues in the region. Telcos in particular could harness this growth by offering gaming-specific connections, or bundling mobile games with data access packs. In addition, shifting the distribution of payments offline could encourage the number of in-app game purchases.”

RedFin Network releases cloud-based PocketPOS platform

FORT LAUDERDALE, USA: RedFin Network Inc., the innovative provider of electronic payment solutions, announced the new PocketPOS cloud based platform, allowing on-the-go merchants the ability to process transactions through any web enabled smart phone or tablet running Android, iOS, Blackberry or Windows Mobile.

For the first time ever, merchants will be able to swipe and print through the cloud-based PocketPOS Web Application by downloading the new PocketPOS Link app.

"The PocketPOS turns a merchant's mobile device into a highly secure credit card payment terminal. Using the PocketPOS Link, combined with the affordable Blue Bamboo P25-M portable card reader and printer, merchants will have one of the lowest cost portable payment solutions available, which can process card present transactions in real time," said Jeffrey Schultz, president and CEO of RedFin Network.

Benefits of RedFin Network's PocketPOS
* Platform (OS) independent cloud-based credit card processing application needs no download. Ability to process real-time transactions from the cloud.
* For the first time, merchants can use a printer/magnetic stripe reader (P25-M printer) with a Web application through the ground-breaking PocketPOS Link.
* Multiple users on multiple devices, as licenses are not locked to a particular device.
* New License Management System makes it easy and fast to add users.

"By using the revolutionary PocketPOS Link, merchants will be able to connect their mobile device to the P25-M Printer/Magnetic Stripe Reader, get lower transaction rates and provide the customer a printed receipt over a wireless Bluetooth connection at the point-of-sale. The PocketPOS Link can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace and coming soon to the iTunes App Store," Schultz added.

Apple, Sony sued in California patent infringement claim over iTunes, Playstation network systems

PALO ALTO, USA: The inventor of technology used in data vending systems such as the iTunes and Playstation Network systems has sued Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. and Foster City, Calif.-based Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC for patent infringement.

Inventor Benjamin Grobler is represented by intellectual property attorneys Christopher Banys and Richard C. Lin from the Palo Alto, Calif., office of The Lanier Law Firm. The lawsuits filed on March 27, 2012, allege that Apple and Sony are infringing US Patent No. 6,799,084.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the '084 patent to Mr. Grobler in 2004. The patent covers data vending systems that allow users to store and manage digital music, video, software and other items on a variety of electronic devices.
According to the lawsuit, Apple and Sony have infringed the patent by making and offering infringing data vending systems such as iTunes and the Playstation Network, and that the companies are inducing their customers' infringement by using these systems.

"You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't listened to music or watched a video through iTunes or the Playstation Network," says Banys, head of the nationwide intellectual property practice at The Lanier Law Firm. "Tech giants can't just take an inventor's work and use it as their own. This lawsuit represents our client's effort to bring some accountability to the system."

The cases are Benjamin Grobler vs. Apple Inc., No. CV-12-1534, and Benjamin Grobler vs. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, No. CV-12-1526. Both are pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NEC Display Solutions intros touch-integrated large-screen display to V series product line

Customer Engagement Technology World 2012 Spring, CHICAGO, USA: NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced the addition of a touch-integrated 65-inch display, the V651-TOUCH, to its commercial-grade V Series large-screen displays.

The V651-TOUCH is integrated with 4-camera optical-imaging technology that allows for up to six simultaneous touches. The integrated glass layer protects the panel and adds clarity to the picture with a double-sided anti-reflective (AR) glass, preventing mirrored imaging.

“Interactive screens are among the hottest trends in the digital signage industry today, so we’re pleased to be teaming up with NEC Display to introduce the ‘best-in-class’ V651-TOUCH display with superior multi-touch performance,” said Sean Smiley, VP of North America Sales for Lumio. “For companies looking to build stronger relationships with customers and establish brand equity, interactive multi-touch screens like the V651-TOUCH provide the platform to do just that.”

Designed for extended use in corporate, retail, restaurant and wayfinding applications, the V651-TOUCH includes popular V Series features. Its full 1080p high-definition resolution provides stunning detail and crisp imagery with a public display-grade panel that protects against permanent image retention.

Along with a built-in expansion slot that allows for seamless integration of NEC accessories, 3rd party components and Open Pluggable Specification (OPS-based) products, the V651-TOUCH offers built-in low-profile 10W speakers to enhance users’ experiences with superior sound. The digital loop-through expands connectivity, enabling multi-display control and daisy chain capabilities.

“This valuable addition to our product line allows us to offer a solution for interactive applications that require a touch product,” said Keith Yanke, director of Product Marketing for Large-Screen Displays and Projectors at NEC Display Solutions. “While including popular digital signage features for environments with extended operation times, the V651-TOUCH offers new touch-integrated technologies that meet customers’ interactivity needs in a pre-configured model directly from NEC.”

Strong market transition from R&D modules to research and production systems

LYON, FRANCE: Yole Développement announced its report “Flow Chemistry Technologies - Microtechnologies for chemical process intensification”. Over the last five years, supply chain for Microreaction technologies started to get structured.

The range of products available on the market became wider in terms of both performance and price, and from modules to systems. In the meanwhile, market consolidation occurred and strategic collaborations have been set-up.Source: Yole Développement, France.

MRT market: Strong increase over last five years
With a strong increase over the past few years the MRT market is under structuration. Today, it can be decomposed in three sub-parts: MRT modules, R&D systems and production units.

“We observed a strong market transition from modules to systems. Whereas the market of individual modules dropped significantly, the amount of modules included in R&D and production systems grew at a CAGR of 18 percent on the period 2007-2012. Next to that the R&D system market showed an impressive yearly growth rate of 25 percent," says Benjamin Roussel, technology & market analyst, Medical Technologies at Yole Développement.

Indeed, Yole Développement notes a boarder acceptation of this disruptive technology. Recent and growing involvement of the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industry (BSF, Johnson & Johnson) clearly shows that MRT technologies benefits (better selectivity, safer process, cost and speed optimization) have sharply raised the interest of potential users. This interest is reinforced as number of publications showed that implementation of flow chemistry can reduce significantly the operational costs. For many applications, rapid return on investment is achievable.

Highly segmented market depending on added value of MRT
“Large chemical and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly considering MRT as a process intensification solution to solve some of their current processing problems for lab research and to debottleneck production,” explains Benjamin Roussel. Nevertheless, the motivations for implementation are multiple and vary form one case to another.

Possible applications, identified by Yole Développement are: MRT for library synthesis, MRT for scalability, MRT for reactive species. On the technical side, user requirements will be different if the principal goal is to precisely control the reaction kinetics, avoid hazardous situations or develop new syntheses. Likewise, drivers differ depending on the molecule life cycle.

This leads to a market segmentation of the Flow Chemistry market. The ability to understand to which segment a prospect belongs is essential as it determines the most appropriate offer and commercial approach.Source: Yole Développement, France.

Strong evolution from MRT modules to integrated systems
Flow Chemistry market is structuring and MRT suppliers take different strategic positioning. Some players have evolved towards the high end systems market, including more and more functionalities into their products. In the meanwhile low cost systems have been introduced recently. Such systems respond very well to research and educational needs, and will contribute to the dissemination of flow chemistry.

Analysis of the value chain provides an understanding of the price evolution from microreaction components sold as stand-alone modules to a complete systems installed in Production, “MRT modules represent only approximately 20% of the total system cost, while the instrumentation price share can exceed 60 percent,“ explains Frédéric Breussin, business unit manager, Medical Technologies at Yole Développement.

This explains how leading companies improved their market positioning and increased their revenue by extending their offer from modules to complete systems. Moreover, it explains as well why increasing the production capacity by numbering-up modules can become very expensive.

Ovum’s third bi-annual roadshow

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: This is the third year that Ovum has run its bi-annual tour of Australia and New Zealand where Dr Steve Hodgkinson and Kevin Noonan, Ovum’s Public Sector Research Directors present their latest public sector ICT research perspectives over breakfast. Attendance numbers are growing, with over 190 executives attending sessions in Wellington, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Sydney or Brisbane in March.

Hodgkinson provided an introduction to the emergence of smart city strategies and described their relevance to the e-government strategies of agencies in this region.

Hodgkinson said: “The drive for smarter cities is being fuelled by global growth in the number of urban dwellers and the imperatives for cities to leverage ICT in order to overcome challenges of environmental, economic and social sustainability. These challenges are exacerbated by the phenomenal pace of new city building in Asia and India and the massive investments being made in a new style of shining new modern technology intensive city.”

While our cities are, in comparison, more mature Australian and New Zealand agencies need to tune in to smart cities trends in order to identify a new generation of city building solutions - many of which are being implemented as scalable, shareable, cloud services. Smarter cities will leverage proven solutions rather than reinventing the wheel locally, and will harness the rising power of digital society to co-produce public services and engage citizens in the creation of sustainable places to live, work, learn and play.

Kevin Noonan presented the results of seven one-on-one interviews with government CIOs around Australia. Drawing on international survey research undertaken by Ovum earlier this year, Federal and State government CIOs were each probed through confidential interviews about their strategic intentions for the coming year.

Noonan stated: “Some agencies were caught in a cost-cutting spiral, and were directing significant effort to defending their diminishing budgets. Life is very tough for these agencies, as they hold the line against unfunded work. Unfortunately business areas have begun to develop ingenious methods for bypassing IT, especially where it relates to leading edge agendas such as mobile technologies, collaboration tools and cloud computing.”

Other agencies have managed to break free. In these agencies, IT is now typically playing a big part in agency-wide restructures and in delivering productivity agendas. These agencies exhibited a number of common characteristics:

* CIOs are no longer focusing on IT role definitions, hierarchy, and procedures and are redirecting efforts to working as part of the executive team to deliver outcomes.
* Package solutions (such as COTS) are being used in preference to bespoke solutions.
* Agencies are differentiating disruptive technologies and focusing their efforts on the bigger picture of disruptive business processes.
* Governance arrangements in most agencies have evolved over time.
* An important observation is that the size of projects being undertaken is not necessarily a good indicator of successful outcomes.
* The role of the Business Owner has become problematic in some agencies.
* In a world where packaged solutions are preferred, interoperability becomes a key requirement.
* Today, many vendor partners have product ranges with well-developed strategic directions.

AGMA annual member conference gathers high-tech leaders

LOS GATOS, USA: AGMA, a non-profit organization and the largest group solely focused on intellectual property (IP) protection in the high-tech industry, recently held its annual member forum. The event offers a venue for the organization's membership to collaborate, share best practices and explore the critical intellectual property protection issues specific to gray market fraud, counterfeiting, warranty and service abuse and digital IP in the high-tech industry. Hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) at the company's San Jose offices, the AGMA conference featured presentations, panel session and open forums.

In addition to the IP protection challenges addressed at the meeting, AGMA announced the election of its new president, Peter Hlavnicka, a long-time AGMA board member and treasurer, and Dolby Laboratories' director of IP protection. AGMA is an equal opportunity organization with a compulsory rotation of the directorship among all eligible members, and several new members -- Oracle's Todd Stern and Avaya's Brian Hayward -- have been appointed to the Board of Directors.

According to Hlavnicka: "As an organization, AGMA's role is to educate the high-tech industry and further establish itself as the go-to resource for best practices in IP protection. AGMA continues to evolve and expand awareness in the industry about the dangers of gray market fraud, counterfeiting, warranty and service abuse and digital IP issues. By fostering the exchange of best practices and successes among members, we are able to garner insights and ideas that can help members, and the industry as a whole, to make a difference."

PwC's Jonathan Kurtz served as moderator for an interactive panel discussion on the importance of channel partner contract compliance terms. This panel was designed to discuss the importance of and requirements for these terms, and gave specific examples of what some of the leading practices among high-tech companies are -- while pointing to the enforcement of these terms as the key to successful IP protection.

Panel members Chris LaChapelle (QLogic), Jim Vanlandingham (Hitachi GST), and Kim Wiatrak (PwC) noted that, while most companies include effective terms in their contracts, usefulness varies due to the actual enforcement of the terms. Follow up surveys and interviews will be conducted as AGMA and PwC continue to research this subject, with the goal of publishing a joint whitepaper on thought leadership for effective channel partner contract terms.

Warranty and service abuse remains a growing industry problem that imposes a significant financial drain on companies. Looking to develop a program that supports recent actions taken by the industry to reduce warranty fraud and service abuse, AGMA member Angela Narvaez of HP is co-chairing an AGMA/CompTia initiative focused on the subject with CompTia's Aaron Woods (Xerox) and Sandy Ashworth (Unysis).

The goal of the initiative is to develop a common industry voice that will result in the following benefits: reduce loss due to warranty fraud and service abuse; increase collaboration between OEMs and partners; increase attention to warranty fraud and service abuse; and enhance customer experience.

Other presenters included Jeanette L. Chu, director, forensic services, advisory practice for PwC, who discussed the importance of understanding unique cultural and business challenges, or as Chu put it: "being China smart," when doing business in China. She also reviewed important steps in building effective trade compliance as part of the overall corporate compliance.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

US flat-panel TV shipments projected to fall for first time ever this year

EL SEGUNDO, USA: In what appears to be a decisive turning point, US flat-panel TV shipments are projected to dip for the first time on an annual basis this year, ending an unbroken string of growth since the market began.

Shipments in 2012 of flat-panel TVs into the American market are forecast to decline to 37.1 million units, down 5 percent from 39.1 million units in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli US TV Market Tracker report. Only last year, shipments had inched up 1 percent from 38.6 million units in 2010.

Shipments of flat-panel TVs—a category covering the dominant liquid crystal display television (LCD TV) sector, the smaller plasma TV segment and the negligible and moribund rear-projection TV market—peaked last year. Shipments are projected to continue to weaken for the next three years until at least 2015.

“The US flat-panel television market has never declined on an annual basis, even at the height of the recession in 2008 and 2009,” noted Lisa Hatamiya, TV research analyst for IHS. “The decline starting this year suggests that demand may have crested for the mature US TV market. Sales in the United States now are being driven by consumers who are replacing their older flat-panel sets with new models boasting more advanced features. This contrasts with developing regions of the world where vibrant, untapped markets remain for buyers making their first-ever purchase of flat-panel sets.”

Irrational exuberance in 2011 contributes to sales decrease in 2012
Beyond the long-term maturation of the US television market, sales will contract in 2012 because of specific supply and dynamic developments that occurred in 2011.
In retrospect, television brands were also too optimistic last year, contributing to this year’s expected historic downturn.

Believing that consumers were finally ready to buy new TVs and part with their money, manufacturers increased shipments in the first quarter last year—only to be proven wrong when the hoped-for sales failed to materialize. A negative chain reaction then ensued that lasted throughout the year, with sets being very aggressively priced toward the third and fourth quarters to make up for a frail first half.

These price cuts hurt profits horribly across the board for almost every vendor.
As a result of last year’s bitter prescriptive, brands will be very cautious in 2012. Manufacturers will attempt to control new shipments into the US market, so that prices remain steady and won’t drive as much demand as last year. The attempt to rein in pricing could also prove dicey, possibly risking the ire of a purchasing public used to discounting or a pattern of gradually lower prices. The overall effect will serve to inhibit shipments this year.

A silver cloud to the lining will be that despite the projected shipment decline, the industry as a whole expects to be more profitable, with less discounting bringing in more revenue.

LED backlighting brightens the market
This year will also see LCD TVs with light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting catapult to dominance in the United States for the first time over older-generation, slightly bulkier LCD sets featuring Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) technology. US shipments of LED-backlit sets will reach 23.7 million units, compared to 8.7 million for CCFL models. Only last year, the tables were turned, with CCFL claiming higher shipment numbers at 18.8 million units, against 14.5 million for LED sets.

LED-backlit sets are expected to see rapid double-digit growth in the upcoming years as brands focus on marketing this feature and making LED-based models standard in their lineup. The sets will emerge in small- to medium-sized TV panels—specifically in the sub-40-inch range.

While US flat-panel TV shipments are projected to move down starting this year, the market continues to aim for increasingly more advanced features in new sets being produced, in order to continue luring customers into new purchases.

Trends currently taking shape in the US LCD TV market include a continuing transition to larger sizes; a steady move from 120-hertz refresh rates toward 240 Hz and even 480 Hz; standardization of the Full HD 1080p specification in sets; inclusion of Internet-enabled capabilities; and increasing emphasis where 3-D is concerned toward passive 3-D displays that include battery-free, less expensive 3-D glasses.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Johnson Controls and Pricol establish JV for Indian automotive market

PUNE, INDIA: Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics, has formed a joint venture with Pricol Ltd, a leading supplier of automotive instrument clusters in India.

The 50/50 joint venture will be called Johnson Controls Pricol Pvt Ltd. Pricol's instrument cluster manufacturing plant in Pune will become the joint venture's primary location. Products developed and manufactured will include instrument clusters, displays and body electronics for both automakers and motorcycle manufacturers that operate businesses in India. The joint venture will leverage Johnson Controls’ industry-leading Human Machine Interaction design and implementation expertise as well as product capabilities.

“This new partnership combines the expertise and capabilities of Johnson Controls and Pricol to create a unique value proposition for our customers and differentiation in the industry,” said Jeff DeBest, group VP and GM, electronics for Johnson Controls Automotive Experience.

With Pricol’s cost-effective innovation capabilities and strong customer relationships in the local market, Johnson Controls will realize growth potential in India. It also will serve global customers cost effectively.

“Johnson Controls brings their world-class product development capabilities, global purchasing relationships and access to global customer relationships to this joint venture, which will help Pricol to strengthen our leading market position in India,” said Vijay Mohan, chairman, Pricol.

“Pricol’s existing instrument cluster offerings and customer base for motorcycle makers will allow us to enter a new market segment,” added DeBest. This new joint venture also will become Johnson Controls’ global center of expertise for this product.

Novel plasmonic material may merge photonic and electronic technologies

WASHINGTON, USA: Helping bridge the gap between photonics and electronics, researchers from Purdue University have coaxed a thin film of titanium nitride into transporting plasmons, tiny electron excitations coupled to light that can direct and manipulate optical signals on the nanoscale. Titanium nitride’s addition to the short list of surface-plasmon-supporting materials, formerly comprised only of metals, could point the way to a new class of optoelectronic devices with unprecedented speed and efficiency.

“We have found that titanium nitride is a promising candidate for an entirely new class of technologies based on plasmonics and metamaterials,” said Alexandra Boltasseva, a researcher at Purdue and an author on a paper published today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optical Materials Express. “This is particularly compelling because surface plasmons resolve a basic mismatch between wavelength-scale optical devices and the much smaller components of integrated electronic circuits.”

Value of plasmons
Metals carry electricity with ease, but normally do nothing to transmit light waves. Surface plasmons, unusual light-coupled oscillations that form on the surface of metallic materials, are the exception to that rule. When excited on the surface of metals by light waves of specific frequencies, plasmons are able to retain that same frequency, but with wavelengths that are orders-of-magnitude smaller, cramming visible and near-infrared light into the realm of the nanoscale.

In the world of electronics and optics, that 100-fold contraction is a boon. Circuits that direct the paths of electrons operate on a much smaller scale than optical light waves, so engineers must either rely on small but relatively sluggish electrons for information processing or bulk up to accommodate the zippy photons. Plasmons represent the best of both worlds and are already at the heart of a number of optoelectronic devices. They have not had widespread use, however, due to the dearth of materials that readily generate them and the fact that metals, in most cases, cannot be integrated with semiconductor devices.

Plasmonic materials
Until now, the best candidates for plasmonic materials were gold and silver. These noble metals, however, are not compatible with standard silicon manufacturing technologies, limiting their use in commercial products. Silver is the metal with the best optical and surface plasmon properties, but it forms grainy, or semi-continuous, thin films. Silver also easily degrades in air, which causes loss of optical signal, making it a less-attractive material in plasmon technologies.

In an effort to overcome these drawbacks, Boltasseva and her team chose to study titanium nitride—a ceramic material that is commonly used as a barrier metal in microelectronics and to coat metal surfaces such as medical implants or machine tooling parts—because they could manipulate its properties in the manufacturing process. It also could be easily integrated into silicon products, and grown crystal-by-crystal, forming highly uniform, ultrathin films—properties that metals do not share.

To test its plasmonic capabilities, the researchers deposited a very thin, very even film of titanium nitride on a sapphire surface. They were able to confirm that titanium nitride supported the propagation of surface plasmons almost as efficiently as gold. Silver, under perfect conditions, was still more efficient for plasmonic applications, but its acknowledged signal loss limited its practical applications.

DVTEL announces TruWitness mobile surveillance video camera

ISC WEST 2012, LAS VEGAS, USA: DVTEL Inc., IP video surveillance technology innovator, announced the availability of TruWitness, an industry-first mobile video application that turns mobile smartphones into full- featured IP video surveillance cameras that stream video into DVTEL’s Latitude Video Management System.

TruWitness is a revolutionary application that transforms cell phones into real-time networked video surveillance cameras. Users are able to tap into the power of their smart devices to stream, record, analyze, review and export video from any location. Available with DVTEL’s Latitude 6.2 VMS, the product operates over WiFi, 3G/4G and LTE networks, and provides security and operational teams with more mobility than ever before. It extends the coverage of surveillance networks to reach blind spots and other areas that traditional cameras cannot reach, and enables the relocation of cameras in real time, as the need arises.

“TruWitness is the first mobile application of its kind in the surveillance market,” said Yoav Stern, president and CEO, DVTEL. “It allows responders to leverage smart devices to provide real-time visual reports of an incident, and stream the video and data to a central command center for on-the-spot decision making, dispatching and resolution in a timely manner. TruWitness enhances situational awareness by putting a live camera on the scene to provide video evidence of a situation as it occurs, helping response teams decide what is needed, as the event evolves.”

TruWitness is currently available to existing and new Latitude 6.2 users free of charge. It is supported on Android- based smart phones running on OS version 2.2 and above.

“DVTEL is committed to delivering solutions that enable users to have the flexibility necessary to enhance safety and quickly solve investigations, thus improving the efficiency of normal operations and procedures,” Stern added. “DVTEL’s advanced technologies, such as TruWitness, allow our partners and end customers to practically and seamlessly reach beyond traditional expectations to realize new levels of operational efficiencies and cost effective security applications for people and assets.”

AVnu Alliance adds AudioScience, beyerdynamic and OnTime Networks

BEAVERTON, USA: AVnu Alliance, an industry forum dedicated to bringing AVnu-certified interoperable AVB products to the market, has expanded with three new members. AudioScience, US-based manufacturer specializing in digital audio peripherals; beyerdynamic, German developer of conferencing systems, headphones, and microphones; and OnTime Networks AS, Scandinavian supplier of industrial data communication products, have joined more than 40 AVnu Alliance member companies that represent industries across automotive, pro A/V, and consumer electronics.

“When AVB came on the scene, AudioScience noted that it was IEEE standards-based and had prominent installed sound and network silicon companies behind it,” says Stephen Turner, company VP. “With AVB being completely scalable and covering industries ranging from consumer, through pro to automotive, we feel that AVnu-certified AVB is a contender for the holy grail of audio and video over networks, and so have chosen to rally around it through the AVnu Alliance."

With a shared vision of interoperable AVnu-certified devices, AVnu Alliance member companies work together to develop compliance and interoperability certification specifications for AVB standards. AVnu-certified devices allow professional A/V providers to have one standards-based unified network that handles all voice, video, audio, and data, while reducing the costs and simplifying the optimization of an A/V network.

“We see AVB as the future network platform for real-time multimedia applications at low latency,” says Ulrich Roth, director of R&D for beyerdynamic. “We intend to integrate AVB interfaces into our wireless systems and conference devices. Through our AVnu Alliance participation, we can ensure compatibility with all other AVB devices.”

Øyvind Holmeide, managing director for OnTime Networks adds: “For a company dedicated to providing precise timing over Ethernet, joining the AVnu Alliance is a natural step for us as we move towards the A/V market. We are pleased to join the alliance since it will provide us with the necessary momentum to be an enabler for AVB in the automation and automotive industry.”

Digicom Electronics expands contract manufacturing services and capabilities

OAKLAND, USA: Digicom Electronics Inc., a technology and quality driven electronics manufacturing services company, has moved to a new and larger facility in Oakland, California, USA. Digicom customers can now take advantage of Digicom’s new Diamond Track Process and have access to the most technologically advanced equipment and services.

“Quality, attention to detail, and customer relationships are what drive us,” explained Mo Ohady, GM, Digicom. “We have devoted ourselves to ensuring that the products we manufacture reflect that, and our ISO13485 medical device compliance, ISO 9001:2008, and quality system regulation 21 CFR 820 are part of that commitment. We have partnered with some of the largest universities and research institutions around the world to create products for the most mission critical applications such as aerospace, satellite, and medical.

“Our move enables us to offer our customers greater manufacturing capacity as well as new services like our Diamond Track Advanced Cleaning that is especially effective for cleaning the most severe conditions and is a major approach to handle the short and long term challenges of harsh environments. We invite those with design ideas or manufacturing needs to visit our new facility.”

Digicom provides complete services from design and prototype assembly with 24 hour capability, to volume manufacturing, inspection and test, and certification and process validation. Digicom’s Diamond Track Processes enhance productivity, product control, quality, and integrity of the product that’s built.

Mantri Developers appoints Cisco as strategic ICT partner

BANGALORE, INDIA: Mantri Developers, India’s leading real estate developers, has announced its collaboration with Cisco to develop new ICT-enabled real estate models ‘Mantri Connected Communities and Smart Homes’. This collaboration combines Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities vision with Mantri’s experience as a pioneering smart urban developer to provide connected and sustainable communities and an enriched living experience to its residents.

Through a framework agreement signed today, Mantri Developers Private Limited (MDPL) has appointed Cisco as its strategic ICT partner to provide its Master ICT Planning expertise and Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The agreement applies to all residential projects that are currently in the design or construction phase, along with future projects comprising over 28 million sq ft of super built up area over the next five years.

As the Master ICT Planner, Cisco will help integrate technology into the heart of the community, to deliver citizen services such as intelligent concierge, doctor consultation, private tutoring and other digital life style solutions creating sustainable and connected communities that bring enhanced value to the residents of Mantri properties. This alliance will help integrate Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities solutions into 12 of Mantri Developers’ residential projects across South India. As part of this collaboration, Cisco is bringing together a consortium that includes Radius Infratel, BPL Technovision, Control4 and Microland.

Integrating technology with urban infrastructure development will help bring about enhanced conceptual living for the 21st century residents. Using Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities platform, MDPL will now build smart sustainable communities where residents of Smart Homes will have access to features such as wireless door locks and video door stations for security, smart interiors with customized settings for lights, blinds, AC and a touch screen panel on the wall with IP control lights.

Residents can benefit from easy access to entertainment via Audio- Video Integration and safer living through gas detection sensors. All these solutions will help transform the properties into sustainable and connected communities setting new standards for the ‘home of the future’

The collaboration marks a beginning of a new chapter in Indian urban development making digital living a reality. The collaboration also reinforces that visionary urban developers such as MDPL are progressively moving towards designing and building infrastructure by integrating intelligent networks as an integral part of their urban development efforts.

Satellite and SES continue on their growth path in Europe

LUXEMBOURG & LONDON, UK: SES announced that satellite has become the leading TV infrastructure in Europe, ahead of terrestrial and cable reception. Approximately 84 million European households have satellite (Direct-to-Home, DTH) as their primary TV reception mode, an increase of 22 percent over the last four years.

In the same period, terrestrial TV lost nearly 16 million homes, while cable lost over 2 million. IPTV – the TV distribution over tele-communication networks in IP format – has grown from a very low level to some 16 million households.

These are the results of the year-end Satellite Monitor that SES presents annually and that is based on primary research in 35 European and North African countries. The study is based on more than 62,000 interviews, conducted by leading market research institutes under the lead of TNS Infratest, Germany.

The main growth markets for satellite in 2011 were the UK, Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Italy. The main growth drivers are the development of digital reception and High Definition (HD). Satellite today is the leading digital infrastructure, reaching nearly 44 percent of all 186 million digital TV homes in Europe. The digitalisation rate of satellite is 97 percent, compared to 70 percent in terrestrial reception and 48 percent in cable.

The new study that SES presented today in London also shows that ASTRA is extending its position in the European markets. Around 142 million TV households are served by ASTRA, 7 million more than the year before and 25 million more than four years ago. More than half of the European TV homes (57 percent) receive their signals from ASTRA. 73 percent of all European satellite homes are ASTRA households, a total of 62 million. As a leader of digitalisation and High Definition (HD), ASTRA is also the leading HD platform in Europe. Over 23 million of the total 29 million satellite HD households in Europe are ASTRA households. The ASTRA Satellite System transmits 267 HD channels.

Worldwide, SES broadcasts more than 1200 HD channels on its fleet of 50 satellites and reaches 258 million TV households.

Logitech UE sets your music free with AirPlay speaker

FREMONT, USA: Logitech has introduced the Logitech UE Air Speaker with Apple’s AirPlay. Now you can stream uncompressed music from iTunes or an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network to a Logitech UE speaker that delivers high-quality audio with a big sound stage boosted by dual tweeters and woofers.

“There’s a new breed of music fans whose iPad and iPhone devices are at the center of their listening activities,” said Rory Dooley, senior VP of music at Logitech. “We created the Logitech UE Air Speaker to give those people a great audio experience that combines effortless streaming with fantastic sound. With its stylish, modern design, easy setup and excellent sound, the Logitech UE Air Speaker looks and sounds phenomenal in any room in the house.”

With Logitech UE, it’s about delivering pure, undiluted music wherever you want to listen. Combining Logitech’s experience in home audio with the Ultimate Ears heritage of delivering great quality sound directly into music lovers’ ears, the new Logitech UE Air Speaker offers superior functionality in a stylish design. The Logitech UE Air Speaker’s subtle curves and handsome piano-black finish look great in any room, while its custom-tuned acoustics deliver a big soundstage with impressively detailed stereo sound.

Setup is easy: just dock your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, follow the on-screen instructions to download the Logitech UE Air app, enter your Wi-Fi network password and you’re ready to go. After that one time setup process, any iPhone 4s, iPhone4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd or 4th generation), iPad, iPad 2, or iPad (3rd generation) with iOS 4.2 or later, or any Mac or PC on your network with iTunes 10.1 or later is instantly connected. Plus with the Apple Dock Connector, you can charge your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch while you play music.

Intelligent network is arriving fast and will transform role of the CIO

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The enterprise network is being bombarded. According to Ovum, the number of smartphones in use will exceed 600 million in 2015, making the intelligent network more relevant than ever.

In a new report, the technology analyst firm reveals how a dynamic network environment can enable the CIO to face the challenges of delivering efficient and effective IT in a world where content and access within the enterprise are being democratized.

“In today’s organisation, the CIO has the hardest job,” says David Molony, principal analyst at Ovum and author of the report. “The pressure to do more with less has never been greater, both from within lines of business and from end users, and the evolution of technology will only add to the pressure on increasingly burdened CIOs.”

The growing number of devices and sources of content mean that the enterprise network is being given a strenuous workout. When the connected world arrives, and many physical objects are digitally enabled as communications nodes, the enterprise network will play an even more critical role.

“Provisioning new capacity to meet extra demand is only the first of many tasks for today’s CIO,” says Molony. “The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) – employees using their own devices to connect to corporate resources – is also bringing a new wave of security and cost pressures.”

The intelligent network will meet these challenges head-on, addressing mixed end-user and customer requirements. It will manage traffic effectively, and offer CIOs a greater range of billing, payment, and cost management tools than ever before. The intelligent network will also promote on-demand distribution and consumption, and anticipate future requirements.

“With the intelligent network, IT will become decentralized, allowing the CIO to focus on innovation and aligning IT capabilities with business and user requirements to a greater degree than has previously been possible,” concludes Molony.

Cinven completes acquisition of CPA Global

UK: European private equity firm, Cinven, announced the completion of its acquisition of CPA Global, the leading global provider of intellectual property (IP) management services and software.

The acquisition of CPA Global, headquartered in Jersey, Channel Islands, has received the required regulatory clearances and the approval of the Jersey courts, which sanctioned a new Scheme of Arrangement.

Cinven acquired CPA Global from its previous shareholders, including Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) and the founder shareholders (a number of patent attorneys in the UK and Australia) for an undisclosed consideration.

CPA Global, through its offices worldwide, supports many of the world’s best known corporations and law firms with a range of IP management services and software solutions. Clients include large corporates in sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and telecoms with significant patent portfolios arising from research and development activities. CPA Global is also a leading player in the emerging legal services outsourcing (LSO) sector.

The acquisition is in line with Cinven’s strategy of investing in world-class European companies where it can accelerate their growth globally using Cinven’s sector expertise and Asian portfolio capability.

The global patent renewal market has shown considerable growth as corporations are increasing R&D spend with higher volumes of patent applications and demand for renewals. The Asian market has experienced a significant increase, which is expected to continue, particularly in China and Korea. Cinven’s Asian portfolio team is ideally positioned to help deliver growth in this region.

Monday, March 26, 2012

LDRA certification services streamlines FAA/EASA certification at fixed price

DESIGN West 2012, SAN JOSE, USA: LDRA Certification Services (LCS), a division of LDRA, the leading provider of safety-critical software verification tools and software best practices for the past 40 years, is announcing the first comprehensive and fully compliant FAA/EASA certification solution. This offering brings together a team of certification industry experts who are fully accredited across all aviation disciplines along with certification-readiness tools tailored for the needs of the avionics industry.

LCS provides comprehensive support, overseeing and guiding certification applicants through a wide-range of aviation standards:
Aircraft & Systems Development (ARP-4754A)
Safety Assessment (ARP-4761)
Integrated Modular Avionics (DO-297)
Flight Electronic Hardware (DO-254)
Flight Software (DO-178B/C)
Ground Systems (DO-278/A)

Proficient in both commercial and military airworthiness, LCS addresses critical project requirements that relate to certification, including the management, planning, staff training, development, verification and production. While analyzing certification and safety needs from a total aircraft system perspective, LCS ensures that the individual and exacting aviation standards can be met at a fixed price.

Leading the LCS team is Todd R. White, a systems and equipment FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER) with Level A authority on all aircraft systems and equipment for both software and airborne electronic hardware. Todd’s expertise is flanked by Marty Gasiorowski, a systems, safety, software and complex electronic hardware FAA DER, and Dr. Holly Hildreth, a safety engineer with expertise in a wide range of US and international standards, to provide certification expertise in DO-178/DO-278, DO-254, DO-297, IEC 61508, IEC 62304, ISO 26262, IEEE 1012:2004 and CENELEC EN 50128. Well-known and highly regarded in the certification community, Todd R. White and Marty Gasiorowski played an instrumental role in crafting the RTCA DO-178C standard.

With development and verification tools qualified for avionics standard objectives, the LCS team successfully applies these tools across the product lifecycle. To address the new initiatives for model-based development, LDRA offers out-of-the-box integration of the LDRA tool suite and industry-leading modeling tool MathWork’s Simulink. Using this integration, avionics applicants gain model and target-execution coverage. The assured consistency of the same tool performing code coverage on the host and target systems reduces the costs and risks associated with the avionics industry’s best practice of back-to-back testing.

Logitech intros all-in-one audio and video conference camera

FREMONT, USA: Logitech introduced a new product category for unified communications (UC) and Web conferencing: the all-in-one audio and video ConferenceCam. The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam is the first communications tool to combine a full HD webcam with a high-quality, omni-directional full-duplex speakerphone in one USB device, enabling small groups to collaborate in conference rooms, closed offices or shared work spaces.

The BCC950 ConferenceCam features a full HD webcam with motorized pan, tilt and zoom for easily bringing everyone into the picture – either from a control pad on the device or with a convenient remote control. The control pad or the remote can also used to answer calls, end calls, adjust the volume and mute the microphone.

Optimized for Microsoft Lync and Skype Certified, the BCC950 ConferenceCam works with most UC and video platforms. With a wide 78-degree field of view and 180-degree video pan, support for 1080p, 30fps HD through plug-and-play UVC H.264 video technology, and a speakerphone that allows everyone in a meeting to hear and be heard clearly from up to eight feet away, the ConferenceCam helps remove the pain point of groups clustering around a computer to be seen and understood during UC calls. Weighing only 20 ounces, the ConferenceCam can be carried easily around an office, allowing for spontaneous meetings anywhere users can place a computer.

“The power of unified communications is driving collaboration across multiple locations and multiple devices, giving people the flexibility to work together wherever they are,” said Giovanni Mezgec, GM for Lync at Microsoft. “The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam expands the benefits of UC in the enterprise by providing a simple-to-install, high-quality solution for small-group meetings.”

“We have a number of remote workers who value face-to-face time with their colleagues in the office, but we haven't had an appropriate tool for small-group video meetings,” said Jim Hayes, IT operations manager for 24HourFlex, an employee benefits solutions provider in Aurora, Colo. “We’ve been testing pre-production units of the Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam for more than a month and it’s proved to be an ideal solution for this bottleneck. We can now quickly and easily add audio and video conferencing to any room with an affordable device that doesn’t compromise on call quality.”

The Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam is ideal for meetings of one to four or more people, whether in conference rooms or individual offices. A high-quality webcam sensor and Logitech RightLight 2 technology improve visual quality in low light and backlit situations, while a razor-sharp Carl Zeiss lens and the camera’s autofocus feature allow sharing of detailed documents and other visuals up close, without losing image quality.

BAE Systems selects EPIR Technologies to fabricate infrared detector array technology

BOLINGBROOK, USA: BAE Systems has licensed to EPIR Technologies Inc. (EPIR) the fabrication of its Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) detector array technology.

This agreement enables EPIR, an existing provider of MCT detectors, to manufacture and supply this world leading technology used in demanding infrared system applications. These applications include areas of imaging and remote sensing for tactical, ground, air, and space platforms, including weather satellites and atmospheric observation instruments.

BAE Systems’ proprietary growth and fabrication processes provide the highest-performing sensors in the industry. Under this licensing agreement, EPIR will transfer these BAE Systems’ proven technologies to its foundry, based in the Chicago, IL area, to manufacture LPE MCT detector arrays. Liquid Phase Epitaxy MCT detector design, development and manufacturing capability is strategically important to the United States, and this licensing agreement will allow this critical technology to remain available to our customers and the community at large.

EPIR is an Infrared (IR) material manufacturing and R&D company founded in 1997 by Dr. Sivalingam Sivananthan, Distinguished Professor of Physics at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the Director of UIC’s Micro Physics Laboratory. “This transition and the formation of an IR foundry will be a very significant step towards horizontal integration providing an on shore, trusted material foundry vital to US national security, helping reduce the cost of IR systems to the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Chelva Kumar, president, EPIR.

BAE Systems will retain the capabilities for design, development and production of cameras and focal plane arrays for the infrared detection market, including read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) design, hybridization, testing and Dewar assembly.

Friday, March 23, 2012

SES and Samsung unveil Africa's first TV with integrated free-to-air satellite receiver

SOUTH AFRICA: SES announced at the Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, that it is collaborating with Samsung to drive digital broadcasting via satellite in sub-Saharan Africa.

Samsung will introduce an LED television with an integrated free-to-air satellite receiver, the Samsung LED TV Free Satellite, that will be distributed in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon in August 2012. Distribution to additional countries will follow.

The integrated satellite receiver will allow consumers to receive free-to-air television channels without the need for an additional set-top box as the LED TV will be directly connected with the satellite dish. In preparation for the launch, SES and Samsung will jointly arrange training sessions with distribution partners and installers to ensure the proper connection of the TV device to the satellite dish. Both partners will also run a joint marketing campaign in June 2012.

As a leader in the free-to-air digital TV market, SES delivers more than 60 free-to-air channels in more than 40 African countries. The launch of the new Samsung LED TV Free Satellite coincides with more channels becoming available in Africa.

SAN equipment poised for 50 percent growth in 2012

CAMPBELL, USA: Infonetics Research released excerpts from its recently published fourth quarter (4Q11) SAN Equipment market share and forecast report, which tracks storage area network switches and adapters.

Sam Barnett, directing analyst for data center and cloud, Infonetics Research, said: “We’re forecasting the overall storage area network equipment market to jump close to 50 percent in 2012 on the strength of Fibre Channel adapters, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) converged network adapters, and FCoE-capable switches. We expect eye-popping growth in the nascent 16G Fibre Channel host bus adapters segment.”

SAN equipment market highlights
* Global sales of SAN switches and adapters jumped 12.5 percent in 4Q11 to $1.3 billion, marking the overall market’s 7th consecutive quarterly gain.
* FCoE-capable switch revenue grew 24 percent in 4Q11 over the previous quarter.
* The emerging FCoE converged network adapter (CNA) market segment doubled in global revenue between the third and fourth quarters of 2011.
* Infonetics forecasts the overall SAN switch and adapter market to grow to just under $10 billion by 2016.
* Brocade strengthened its commanding lead in the Fibre Channel SAN switch market, ending the 2011 year with 2/3 of the global revenue; Cisco remains its strongest competitor.
* Cisco is the clear leader in FCoE-capable switches, commanding 88 percent of the global market in 2011.
QLogic and Emulex still hold majority share of the SAN adapter space, both posting healthy revenue gains in 2011 once again, though their rivals are also making steady headway as well

US audiences to pay more for online movies in 2012 than for physical videos

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Americans will pay to consume more movies online in 2012 than they will on physical video formats, marking the first year that legal, Internet-delivered movies will outstrip those of DVDs and Blu-ray discs combined.

The legal, paid consumption of movies online in the United States will reach 3.4 billion views or transactions in 2012, approximately 1.0 billion units higher than the 2.4 billion for physical video for this year, according to the IHS Screen Digest Broadband Media Market Insight report. As recently as last year, physical video had claimed a commanding share of the market with 2.6 billion views or transactions, compared to 1.4 billion for online.

This year’s online video consumption via the open Internet represents annual growth of 135 percent from 2011. Online video transactions and videos are also set to continue increasing in the years to come, while physical video sales are expected to decline or stagnate in comparison.

“The year 2012 will be the final nail to the coffin on the old idea that consumers won’t accept premium content distribution over the Internet,” said Dan Cryan, senior principal analyst, broadband & digital media at IHS. “In fact, the growth in online consumption is part of a broader trend that has seen the total number of movies consumed from services that are traditionally considered ‘home entertainment’ grow by 40 percent between 2007 and 2011, even as the number of movies viewed on physical formats has declined.”

The physical segment consists of retail sales and rentals of VHS, DVD and Blu-ray discs (BD). The online portion is comprised of electronic sell-through (EST), Internet video on demand (iVOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD).

Key to the surge in consumption of online video has been the rise of all-you-can-eat subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer customers unlimited on-demand movies for a flat monthly or annual fee. The result is that subscriptions in 2011 accounted for 94 percent of all paid online movie consumption in the United States, compared to just 1.3 percent of units consumed that were bought on an ownership basis via electronic sell-through.

Although it is declining, physical video this year will still command more viewing time from Americans, who will spend an estimated 4.3 billion hours on DVDs and Blu-ray discs, compared to 3.2 billion hours for movies online.

And although online will account for the majority of transactions this year, it is set to attract a far lower share of revenue in 2012, at $1.7 billion, measured against $11.1 billion derived from physical formats. This is because consumers will pay an average of 51 cents for every movie consumed online, compared to $4.72 for physical video. The pattern will likely remain unchanged even by 2016, with online accounting for 17 percent of revenue, compared to 75 percent for physical video, and pay-TV video on demand taking the remaining 8 percent.

Netflix, while unquestionably the market leader, is not the only online SVOD game in town. Last year saw both Amazon and Hulu develop online streaming businesses at levels unheard of just a couple of years ago. For Amazon in particular, 2011 marked the transformation of Amazon Prime from a discounted shipping offer into a diverse entertainment proposition in its own right, allowing subscribers who paid the $79 per-year service access to a range of movies and TV shows.

The phenomenal growth of subscription movie consumption raises the prospect that as SVOD services become more widely adopted, they become an appreciable drain on the time that consumers would have used to watch movies in more lucrative ways, IHS believes. When this is combined with the possibility that consumers will always find something to watch, the still-nascent EST business could have its wings clipped before it can really take flight, even as consumption reaches previously unattainable highs.

"After more than 30 years of buying and renting movies on tapes and discs, this year marks the tipping point as U.S. consumers now are making a historic switch to Internet-based consumption, setting the stage for a worldwide migration of consumption from physical to online," Cryan said. "We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray. But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business."

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Acer Iconia Tab A510 tablet delivers quad core performance for high-end entertainment and productivity

SAN JOSE, USA: Acer America debuted its first quad core tablet in North America, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. It is designed to deliver outstanding performance and a visually rich experience for mobile game playing and entertainment such as enjoying video and lifestyle apps.

In addition, the new 10.1-inch tablet Acer Iconia Tab A510 goes beyond what most people expect of their tablets to enable heightened productivity. The new tablet comes with the full suite of Polaris Office 3.5, which is compatible with Microsoft Office and allows reading and editing of various document formats for mobile access to important information. The new Acer tablet also includes Acer Print, so customers have a convenient and seamless way to print wirelessly from their tablet.

The first-rate tablet experience is heightened with Android 4.0 OS (Ice Cream Sandwich) which features a more intuitive interface and improved overall performance for faster browsing, better multitasking, as well as enhanced app and folder management.

"The new Acer Iconia Tab A510 will exceed the expectations of customers who are ready to embrace using their tablets for more fun, entertainment and a first-rate mobile gaming experience," said Paul Tayar, director of product marketing for connected devices, Acer America. "Our second-generation Acer A510 builds on the success of its award-winning predecessor with notable improvements in performance, responsiveness and ease-of use, elevating it to the status of ultimate mobile companion. Plus, the tablet will really surprise people with its comprehensive suite of productivity apps that will enable them to remain productive and connected on-the-go."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Smart credentials for government, healthcare, and citizen ID in excess of $72 billion over next five years

LONDON, UK: The market for smart cards, secure ICs, inlays, (biometric) data capture, card personalization, printing and issuance in government, healthcare, and citizen ID will reach a cumulative value of $72 billion by 2016. The largest proportion of revenues will be from the deployment of national ID cards and e-passports.

The employment of higher-value applications, in particular e-passports and smart national ID cards, alongside the increased focus on multi-application credentials, has accelerated the smart card market value. The market is expected to peak in 2014, before settling at a level close to $15 billion.

The greater employment of smart cards is adding further value for vendors as more countries look to migrate from legacy-based solutions to secure smart card-based ones and next generation credentials. Shipments of smart credentials will overtake legacy in 2014. The keys to this shift are several countries: France, Brazil, and Poland are moving to dual interface national ID cards and China has a pending upgrade to a microcontroller national ID.

Research analyst, Phil Sealy, comments: “Contactless is the new ‘must have’ technology in the ID space. Contactless projects have already shown success, deploying within national ID projects in Germany, Egypt, and most notably, China. The trend to adopt a contactless interface will continue throughout the forecast period. We expect to see strong and continued adoption of dual interface ICs primarily utilized in national ID cards.”

Group director, John Devlin, adds: “This market has produced some excellent YoY growth over the past few years as vendors add value and increase the appeal of smart card-based solutions. Shipment growth should continue for at least the next four years. The next phase in India’s Aadhaar project could be a real game changer. The project could form the basis for a whole range of services deploying in both an online and offline manner, across both government and commercial sectors.”

SAP Labs India to host World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Karnataka meet

BANGALORE, INDIA: The launch of Global Shapers Karnataka, established by the World Economic Forum, as an exclusive community of exceptional youth with extraordinary achievements in their 20s, is happening on 24 March, 2012 at the SAP Labs campus in Whitefield, Bangalore. The Forum’s agenda is to provide the chosen youth a global platform to voice fresh ideas and solutions for the world's most pressing solutions.

The Global Shapers, Karnataka will recognise Bangaloreans who have made a significant impact through their achievements and contributions. However, the vision is to look beyond Bangalore and create a bigger platform for millions of youth across Karnataka State to shape the future by integrating their personal, community and global dimensions.

This year, some of the names that have been recognised as Global Shapers are Divya Spandana, film personality, Pankaj Advani, ace billiards champion, Rohan Bopanna, Davis cup winner, Phanindra Sama, founder and CEO, RedBus and Sridhar Sundaram, Associate Manager, SAP Labs India. The list showcases shapers who have made a difference from various walks of life.

“What differentiates this event from the other youth leadership summits is that the focus would not just be inspiring conversations, but actual result driven empowerment. For example, we have already collated a database of 25,000 deserving youth, who would be given access to opportunities like scholarships, jobs, internships etc.," added Sangeeth Varghese, founding curator, Global Shapers.

Expressing his enthusiasm at hosting the event at the SAP Labs India campus, V.R. Ferose, MD, SAP Labs India, and co-founder Global Shapers, Karnataka, said: “At SAP Labs, we take pride in nurturing individuals to create a dynamic difference through their contributions. It therefore gives us immense pleasure to host the inaugural Global Shapers Karnataka meet.”

The launch of the Global Shapers Karnataka is being addressed by eminent leaders drawn from various spheres like Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-chairman of Infosys, Kiran Bedi, first lady IPS officer in India, Rajeev Gowda, Director, Public Policy, IIM Bangalore, etc. All the topics of discussions will be centred on how the youth can create a bigger impact to their communities and well as to themselves. Apart from the Global Shapers and corporate representatives, almost 200 students from all across Karnataka, especially from upcountry locations have been handpicked, to attend the event.

The event is sponsored by The Mumbai Educational Trust – Bhujbal Knowledge Centre and Bhujbal Knowledge City.

2011 was year of ‘Hacktivist’

BANGALORE, INDIA: The “Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report” reveals the dramatic rise of “hacktivism” -- cyberhacking to advance political and social objectives.

In 2011, 58 percent of data stolen was attributed to hacktivism, according to the annual report released today from Verizon. The new trend contrasts sharply with the data-breach pattern of past several years, during which the majority of attacks were carried out by cybercriminals, whose primary motivation was financial gain.

Seventy-nine percent of attacks represented in the report were opportunistic. Of all attacks, 96 percent were not highly difficult, meaning they did not require advanced skills or extensive resources. Additionally, 97 percent of the attacks were avoidable, without the need for organizations to resort to difficult or expensive countermeasures. The report also contains recommendations that large and small organizations can implement to protect themselves.

Now in its fifth year of publication, the report spans 855 data breaches across 174 million stolen records – the second-highest data loss that the Verizon RISK (Research Investigations Solutions Knowledge) team has seen since it began collecting data in 2004. Verizon was joined by five partners that contributed data to this year’s report: the United States Secret Service, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, the Australian Federal Police, the Irish Reporting & Information Security Service and the Police Central e-Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police.

“With the participation of our law enforcement partners around the globe, the ‘2012 Data Breach Investigations Report’ offers what we believe is the most comprehensive look ever into the state of cybersecurity,” said Wade Baker, Verizon’s director of risk intelligence. “Our goal is to increase the awareness of global cybercrime in an effort to improve the security industry’s ability to fight it while helping government agencies and private sector organizations develop their own tailored security plans.”

The report findings reinforced the international nature of cybercrime. Breaches originated from 36 countries around the globe, an increase from 22 countries the year prior. Nearly 70 percent of breaches originated in Eastern Europe, with less than 25 percent originating in North America.

External attacks remain largely responsible for data breaches, with 98 percent of them attributable to outsiders. This group includes organized crime, activist groups, former employees, lone hackers and even organizations sponsored by foreign governments. With a rise in external attacks, the proportion of insider incidents declined again in this year’s report, to 4 percent. Business partners were responsible for less than 1 percent of data breaches.

In terms of attack methods, hacking and malware have continued to increase. In fact, hacking was a factor in 81 percent of data breaches and in 99 percent of data lost. Malware also played a large part in data breaches; it appeared in 69 percent of breaches and 95 percent of compromised records. Hacking and malware are favored by external attackers, as these attack methods allow them to attack multiple victims at the same time from remote locations. Many hacking and malware tools are designed to be easy and simple for criminals to use.

Additionally, the compromise-to-discovery timeline continues to be measured in months and even years, as opposed to hours and days. Finally, third parties continue to detect the majority of breaches (92 percent).

Key findings of 2012 report
Data from the 2012 report also demonstrates that:
* Industrial espionage revealed criminal interest in stealing trade secrets and gaining access to intellectual property. This trend, while less frequent, has serious implications for the security of corporate data, especially if it accelerates.
* External attacks increased. Since hacktivism is a factor in more than half of the breaches, attacks are predominantly led by outsiders. Only 4 percent of attacks implicate internal employees.
* Hacking and malware dominate. The use of hacking and malware increased in conjunction with the rise in external attacks in 2011. Hacking appeared in 81 percent of breaches (compared with 50 percent in 2010), and malware appeared in 69 percent (compared with 49 percent in 2010). Hacking and malware offer outsiders an easy way to exploit security flaws and gain access to confidential data.
* Personally identifiable information (PII) has become a jackpot for criminals. PII, which can include a person’s name, contact information and social security number, is increasingly becoming a choice target. In 2011, 95 percent of records lost included personal information, compared with only 1 percent in 2010.
* Compliance does not equal security. While compliance programs, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, provide sound steps to increasing security, being PCI compliant does not make an organization immune from attacks.

“The report demonstrates that unfortunately, many organizations are still not getting the message about the steps they can take to prevent data breaches,” said Baker. “This year, we have segmented our recommendations for enterprises and small businesses in the hope that this will make our suggestions more actionable. Additionally, we believe greater public awareness about cyberthreats and user education and training are vitally important in the fight against cybercrime.”

Recommendations for enterprises
* Eliminate unnecessary data. Unless there is a compelling reason to store or transmit data, destroy it. Monitor all important data that must be kept.
* Establish essential security controls. To effectively defend against a majority of data breaches, organizations must ensure fundamental and common sense security countermeasures are in place and that they are functioning correctly. Monitor security controls regularly.
* Place importance on event logs. Monitor and mine event logs for suspicious activity – breaches are usually identified by analyzing event logs.
* Prioritize security strategy. Enterprises should evaluate their threat landscape and use the findings to create a unique, prioritized security strategy.

Recommendations for small organizations
Use a firewall. Install and maintain a firewall on Internet-facing services to protect data. Hackers cannot steal what they cannot reach.
Change default credentials. Point-of-sale (POS) and other systems come with pre-set credentials. Change the credentials to prevent unauthorized access.
Monitor third parties. Third parties often manage firewalls and POS systems. Organizations should monitor these vendors to ensure they have implemented the above security recommendations, where applicable.